Hi there! I’m Rachel Shingleton, and I am the creative director and blogger at Pencil Shavings Studio. I am so excited to be here contributing as a Style Spotter for BHG. I love design in all its forms, and I’m especially crazy about color. I can’t wait to share some of my favorite tips and tricks with the BHG community.
I’m a lifelong bookworm and I love nothing more than having my favorite reads around me. But it’s a slippery slope when keeping all those books organized and still be part of my decor. Whether your home has built-ins or freestanding shelves, styling those bookshelves may take a little more time and thought than you might have expected.
Start with a clean slate of completely empty shelves. Prep a selection of books that you want to display. I’m currently in love with collecting redesigned hardcover classic books from the Penguin Drop Caps series and other publishers who’ve hired some pretty fantastic graphic artists to create gorgeous covers. I’m always interested in colorful books on interior design, fashion, textiles, travel, and photography to add to my library, but consider the overall look you want to create. Do you want a eclectic multicolored collection or something more monochromatic?
Bookshelves look best when not completely overcrowded. In fact, having a decent amount of unfilled or “blank” space will help your items to pop and look more intentional. Don’t be afraid of blank space. It will give your eye a place to rest so it doesn’t look cluttered or overwhelming. Experiment with arranging books both horizontally and vertically. But remember – group items together going from smallest to largest, especially when stacking them.
Definitely plan on spending some time arranging and rearranging until you get just the right look. And remember – those shelves aren’t just for books. Create more visual interest by sourcing fun decor items such as frames, candles, pottery, brass objets, vintage china, small clocks, lacquered boxes, bookends, statues, clocks, small plants, or magazine boxes. The sky’s the limit on what you can create!
I love the bold pops of chartreuse and citrus in these built-ins. The pale grey paint is neutral but still enough contrast to make even white look stellar.
With a damask wallpapered backdrop, these bookshelves have a homey and eclectic aesthetic. Family photos share the space with favorite books and found objects.
Repetition is a great way to make a statement with your shelves. By stacking all the books and keeping the heights the same, everything feels planned and intentional.
- Penguin Classics Drop Cap Series
- Yellow Vase
- Happy Chic nesting boxes
- Dwell Studio Antelope sculpture
- Jonathan Adler Dachshund bookends
- Geo Terrarium
- Adeco Red Vase